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(Date submitted: 8th May 2012)

Brass band enthusiasts are being asked for their help to create an unusual artwork celebrating County Durham's musical and railway heritage.

Durham County Council is appealing for people to share their memories and mementoes of brass bands past and present.

Stories, keepsakes and souvenirs will be used by craftsmaker Caroline Collinge and architect Edmond Salter as inspiration for an artwork to be unveiled during BRASS: Durham International Festival 2012.

The piece, to be displayed at Locomotion: National Railway Museum in Shildon will feature Victoriana brass band uniforms made out of paper textiles. The uniforms will be joined together to create a traditional bandstand-style structure.

Colin Robson, the coucil's art officer, said: "County Durham has a very strong tradition of brass band music and this project will explore the early history of the movement during the Victorian era. It will also reflect the relationship between brass music and the growth of the railways, which resulted in wider exposure and support for the music. However, Caroline and Edmond are extremely keen for local people to get involved by sharing their photographs, memorabilia, textiles, costumes and memories to be incorporated into the piece.They would like to hear from players currently involved with brass bands as well as people whose relatives played with or supported bands in the past. They are also particularly interested in getting in touch with anyone connected to the making of brass band uniforms."

The finished artwork will be on display at Locomotion throughout BRASS: Durham International Festival 2012 from July 6th to 22nd.

Anyone who would like to take part in the project can email:

BRASS is programmed and delivered by Durham County Council, working in partnership with a wide range of organisations. The festival is supported by DCC and from 1 April 2012 receives funding from Arts Council England's National Portfolio scheme, through Gala Durham

(Date submitted: 8th February 2012)

We would like to invite bands to play at the famous Boarshurst Band Club in Greenfield as part of our programme of weekly 'Sunday Night Brass' concerts. Our first available date is Sunday 4th March, and every Sunday thereafter. Each concert begins at 8pm with a short interval at around 8.50pm. The charge on the door is nominally £3, and raffle tickets are sold during the interval. The proceeds of the door and raffle are paid directly to the performing band. We will advertise your concert in the local press, on the internet, and by way of posters in the local area.

This is a great opportunity for your band to play in one of the longest established bandrooms in the country, situated in the heart of Saddleworth, and well known for its brass band traditions. If you would like to accept our invitation, please let me know which Sunday you are available to play and we will agree a mutually suitable date. As soon as the date is fixed we will begin advertising. A brief resumé of your band including a current photo and special concert/contest achievements will help us to give your concert a special mention.

This coming Sunday, 12th Feb, we are being entertained by Belle Vue Brass. The following Sunday, 19th Feb, we are holding our annual NW Area Brass Band Championships preview night in which FIVE bands will each play their respective area test piece. This programme will begin at 7.30pm, and an adjudication is to be provided by David Horsfield and Colin Hardy.

If you would like to visit the club in the meantime, please feel free to call in on Mondays or Thursdays from 8pm onwards when the Boarshurst Silver Band hold their rehearsals.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and to have the pleasure of a good nights' brass band entertainment at Boarshurst Band Club

Please make your enquiries to John Whittle (Boarshurst Silver Band) on 07840 540 231 or email

(Date submitted: 8th February 2012)

David Cawdell has been in the brass band world for over sixty years both as a player and conductor. He has recently been researching the histories of the 'lost' village bands in East Anglia, and has published two books on the subject. He also gives dozens of talks to organisations on the history of brass bands.

For more information see David's website:

(Date submitted: 8th February 2012)

Have you noticed how Folk music and Brass Bands together are becoming popular?

Well known folk artists The Unthanks with Brighouse and Rastrick and Kate Rusby are pushing the music.

Here at the Sage we are actively promoting the development of this blend of musicians.

Are you interested in joining in? Try something new? Contact me via e-mail - t, or twitter - trevorjohn

With best regards, Trevor Wilkinson.

(Date submitted: 1st February 2012)

Brass The Baton - is an exciting new project for 2012 designed to increase participation in the Brass Band Music art form on an unprecedented scale never attempted before from a single event. It provides a unique opportunity for brass musicians, and conductors, of all ages and standards, to perform a new music commission as part of a high profile, high quality, nationwide celebration of brass band music making for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Brass The Baton is basically a relay race involving 5 conductor's batons, each representing one of the 5 Olympic rings and coloured accordingly. Starting at the prestigious European Brass Band Championships on Sunday 6th May each of the 5 batons will be passed by participating Brass Bands / Ensembles across the UK and Internationally, until they reach their final destination during the London 2012 Festival on Sunday 22nd July.

Brass Bands / Ensembles can now apply to take part and 5 unique routes will be mapped out for each baton before the start. One baton will be dedicated to be passed only by youth / training / beginner bands; another could be assigned to travel through Europe and possibly around the world.

The relay race will last for 11 weeks providing 385 potential performance days (i.e. 5 batons x 11 weeks of 7 days) where each Brass Band / Ensemble taking part will be encouraged to find the most innovative way of performing with, and passing on, one of the 5 conductor's baton. A special piece of music has been commissioned for Brass The Baton entitled "Going The Distance", it comprises 5 distinct "flavours" that can be performed independently along the route of each baton. The world premiere performance of the complete piece will only occur when all 5 "flavours" / batons / massed bands of brass musicians come together for the project finale on Sunday 22nd July.

For more information see the website: